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AN AMBITIOUS PIECE OF STAINED GLASS

The season's first concert in the Stained Glass Series is a very ambitious joint undertaking in which the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and choir of Westminster Presbyterian Church will present Leonard Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms" and Leos Janacek's "Glagolitic Mass" (Slavonic Mass) at 8 p.m. Saturday in the church sanctuary. Westminster's organist and choir director, Thomas Swan, will conduct both works. One of Bernstein's most beguiling works, "Chichester" is a three-part setting of six Hebrew Psalm texts for treble soloist, chorus and an ensemble of brass, percussion and strings. Written in 1965 for England's Chichester Cathedral, the music intermixes boisterous jubilation, meltingly lush lyricism and prayerful reverence. Janacek's 1927 Glagolitic Mass is one of the most convulsively exciting, truly original choral works of the century, a setting of old Slavonic texts in which the speech patterns provide the rhythmic impetus for the music. Himself an agnostic, Janacek at age 73 created a youthful and impassioned choral appeal to some overriding, universal faith that transcends all sectarian bounds. Soloist in the Bernstein work will be treble Aaron Bartley, while soprano Laurie Wyant, mezzo Marilyn Barber, tenor Harold McAulliffe and baritone Frank Pullano will be featured in the Janacek, whose big, dramatic organ solo will be played by Barbara Harbach. -- Herman Trotter

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